All Roads Lead to Clark: Better infra boosts district’s attractiveness

Improved accessibility brought by the near completion of new infrastructure projects is seen to make Metro Clark an appealing prospect to foreign investors and occupiers as a good alternative to Metro Manila, according to a property services firm.

“All roads lead to Clark,” said Jones Lang Lasalle  (JLL) Philippines Director for Capital Markets Ian Perez.

“Improved infrastructure is being put in place to make it more accessible now—major highways such as the North Luzon Expressway and Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, the Clark International Airport, and soon, the North–South Commuter Railway,” Perez added.

In its latest thought leadership event, JLL Philippines gave a real estate market overview of Metro Clark, which comprises the New Clark City, Clark International Airport, Clark Freeport Zone, and Clark Global City—envisioned to be the premier business district in Northern Luzon.

“As the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program continues, Clark will become even more accessible. Soon enough, with the private sector investing and businesses locating their offices in the area, it will become an economic growth pillar of Luzon, complementing that of Metro Manila’s CBDs,” said JLL Philippines head of capital markets P.Ryan Isip.

JLL projects that Metro Clark will see an additional supply of 280,000 square meters (sqm) starting the first quarter of next year.

“Offshoring and outsourcing firms, on top of traditional offices, remain to be one of the key drivers for the demand in office spaces in Metro Clark,” Perez said.

“We expect rents to remain steady until the end of the year and slightly dip as new supply becomes available in the market starting in 2021,”he added.

As Metro Clark is currently only about 80 kilometers or a mere 45-minute car drive from Metro Manila, Perez said living in the area and working in Metro Manila central business district (CBDs), and vice versa, has now become more viable.

Perez said Metro Clark has the necessary amenities and facilities to support businesses for their expansion outside of Metro Manila amid the trend of decentralization among businesses.

He added that Metro Clark has a diverse availability of supply for office, retail, residential, and logistics and industrial offerings.

“Depending on the quality, size and site of a building, locating offices in Metro Clark has cost-saving benefits such as lower rent, labor, utilities, and other operational costs,” Perez said.

Apart from the office sector, JLL emphasized that Metro Clark has also something to offer for the logistics and industrial sector.

“The more we shop online, the need for additional warehouse space increases, particularly from e-commerce companies. And with the Skyway 3 already in place, logistics hubs in the Clark area are strategically located to support distribution operations in all of Metro Manila’s 16 cities and one municipality,” Isip said.